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Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva

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> This item is no longer in the catalogue, see the available documents here <

The great Portuguese painter Maria Helena Vieira da Silva thanks an enigmatic writer for her book offering "a trip around the world".

  • Handwritten letter from Maria Helena Vieira da Silva to an unknown recipient, probably a writer.
  • One page, front and back.
  • In French.
  • 17 cm x 18.7 cm.
  • No information about date and location.
  • Excellent condition.
  • Unique piece.

Extracts

(...) Your beautiful book is here on my table. Ever since it arrived, I've wanted to read it. And, every day, I leave behind the moment that I could easily travel around the world. I'm sure you understand and forgive me. Anyway, I didn't want to take any longer to thank you. It was a great job, which certainly gave him a lot of satisfaction, but also, I imagine, a lot of pain (1).

(1) Here perhaps Maria Helena Vieira da Silva meant "effort"?

Maria Helena Vieira da Silva (1908 - 1992) is one of the great painters of the 20th century and among the few Portuguese artists with relevant international recognition. But is Vieira da Silva a truly Portuguese artist? She studied and lived much of her life in France, starting in 1928, where she helped found the Paris School. With a figurative style in the 1930s, it evolved into an abstract technique - of lines and labyrinths - that earned him international fame and recognition in the 1950s.

The artist exchanged correspondence with friends, artists, writers and politicians and, above all, the great love of her life, Arpad Szenes, also a painter: one of the most emblematic painter couples in contemporary art. In addition to expressions of love and friendship, conversations about exhibitions or painting, other issues appear in the letters, such as Vieira da Silva's health problems and also the artist's existential concerns, who liked and needed to travel to seek inspiration and a certain happiness.

This mysterious letter subtly testifies to this need and the artist's torments. Furthermore, almost all of the painter's letters were preserved by the family and by Portuguese and French institutions: only a half dozen, owned by collectors, have appeared on the market in recent years.

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